Every week, "Charts & Graphs" looks past the weekend box-office numbers to examine other lists of movies that are popular right now, as assessed by the likes of iTunes, Amazon, Box Office Mojo, and other services.

Variety yesterday linked to a KPMG study about the availability of TV and movies to buy or rent on-line, and suggested that when it comes to "the most popular and critically acclaimed" recent films, the vast majority of them (around 94%) are legally available through some kind of VOD provider. There are caveats galore to apply to this study—including the relevance of "popular" and "recent," and whether those are good measures for how comprehensive on-line video services are—but that's a subject to explore another time. There was one chart in the study though that I found very telling:

A few notes:

  • Well that didn't take long, did it? Between 2005 and 2006, the window from theatrical to on-line release shrank from roughly four years to two years, and then by 2009 it was down to ten months, and then five months by 2010.
  • The KPMG report suggests some reasons for the rapid shrinking of the window, pointing to an industry-wide initiative to increase the use of on-line video services by including "digital copies" with the sale of DVDs and Blu-rays. These days, a lot of the major home video companies just go ahead and sell everything in one package: a DVD, a Blu-ray, and code to download a copy. One of the goals of this initiative was to reduce piracy, in part by rendering unnecessary the kind of software programs that people use to rip DVDs for mobile use. The download codes are meant to be a way to control and secure the version of the movie that DVD-buyers watch on their phones.
  • Quick poll of Dissolve readers: For those of you who buy DVDs and Blu-rays of recent theatrical releases, how many of you take advantage of the free download codes that come with so many of them? (And for those who do, did the ability to store your movies in the cloud rather than keeping them on your hard drive make you more inclined to use those codes?)